Would Creators Benefit from RSS? (IMO, yes)

in #tech2 years ago


Quick Tip:
You can get a feed for your own Hive.Blog profile by sharing
such as:

Previous Related posts
Why I like RSS
How to Get RSS For Various Services
Create Your Own RSS Feed from Scratch

Okay, so this is my fourth and last article covering RSS feeds. If you’ve been following me through each time on RSS I covered how/why I use RSS feeds, how to get/create feeds for most services, how to create/host your own feed, and finally I want to propose why I think feeds might be a valuable tool for content creators.


I will leave links above if you haven't seen them and aren't familiar with feeds, but to give a quick summary of a feed: A feed is a file hosted like a web page, but instead of being loaded in a browser it is loaded in a feed reader. It’s composed of items which are links to different pieces of content. Those items can be anything from YouTube videos to Tweets, and when clicked on in the feed reader they will be opened based on what they are (such as YouTube videos being loaded in the YouTube app unless the user configures otherwise). Most feeds are generated by a platform/service, such as a feed generated by YouTube that lists a channel’s video as they are created, but a feed created by a content creator could include anything and everything that the content creator wants to include in it and is not restricted to one platform or service.

Why This Might Be Good


This has a number of benefits, the first of which being a custom feed with content hand picked by the creator opens up a lot more possibilities. Say somebody is a YouTuber who mostly posts videos on YouTube, and each time they do they add it to their feed. But, then the have a collaboration or guest appearance on another channel and want to share that. Or maybe they plan to do something like a giveaway, but want to avoid strict rules on it by operating the giveaway on another platform. Or maybe they have one foot out of the door on YouTube but are still getting the best ad revenue there and want to continue to drive traffic to their YouTube channel, but also want to be able to switch their “main” platform on a moment’s notice. Or maybe they just wrote an article for an outlet and want to link to it. The ability to have at least a portion of people consuming content via a feed would be great in allowing a creator to step outside of any particular walled garden and provide different content or different formats without having to scrap the idea of any particular service.

Secondly, and in my opinion more importantly, it would be your part of the web. Especially if you’re hosting it with a domain that you own, delivering content from your own setup means that you’re outside of any walled gardens and not beholden to any one company or group. I’m not necessarily going to defend everyone who gets kicked off of platforms, but take the case of Coffeezilla for example. As far as I’m aware he’s a pretty tame guy, and the only people he’d upset are probably the scammers he looks into, but for whatever reason one night the bots deleted his account. He got his account back soon, but the ability to control your own content delivery system in a case like that could be very handy. Even if your backlog of content dissipated, and even if it was resolved eventually, to be able to get the word out and carry on in the mean time could be great.

Last, of course, it wouldn’t need to disrupt anything else already going on. If you post mostly on one platform, you can share it to your followers or subscribers and then those who want to follow you through the feed get the benefits, and those who don’t still have the exact same situation as they had before. This isn’t some zero sum setup where it caused problems for anybody who didn’t want to use it.

How You’d Go About It

So, if I’ve peaked your interest you might be thinking that it’s worth considering if it’s not too hard or problematic to set up. Well, luckily, it’s not. You have three different ways of going about this, from easiest to hardest, and while I feel the more work you put in the more benefit you can get out of it, luckily even the hardest isn’t more than two or three minutes of work tops per piece of content you put out.


The first way of going about creating a feed to share your content would be to setup an account with a service that allows a feed to be created, which I refer you to my video on how to create a feed for anything. Something like a Mastodon or Hive account where you can share contents from all sources would allow you to get a feed where you can add any content you would like. The upside is it’s quick, easy, and free; but of course while providing the first benefit of stepping outside a walled garden it lacks the second benefit of being in your control.


Secondly, you have the option to set up a platform of your own that automatically creates a feed, preferably using a domain that you own in case you need to move hosts without disrupting your feed’s link. This could be by creating something like a self hosted WordPress blog or Mastodon instance where you share content you create. Using YouTube as an example again, you could likely set it up to automatically share all YouTube videos posted while also allowing the manual sharing of all other content you wish, or you could manually share all content each time you post it.


Last, you can also just create a feed file and place it on a server. I’ll link to my video on how to do that manually or you could use a tool dedicated to streamlining the process. Either way, each time you create content all it would be is a couple copy and pastes to add a new item to the feed. In this case you have the most control over how the content is provided and displayed of the three ways mentioned, and assuming you own the domain that points to the file it’s your own corner of the internet that you built from scratch and have total control over.

Of course you can find my blog (self hosted/from scratch), my Hive RSS Link, and my YouTube RSS Link if you want to follow me or toy around with RSS feeds.